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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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172                         THE ECLECTIC STT.LE OF THE 16TH CENTURY.
a grotesque face is introduced, with the moustaches prolonged into fanclfa!
arabesque continuations, and strings of pearls substituted for the festoons,
or a knotted scarf Is grasped In the teeth and hang3 half down to the base with
a bell attached to its end. Occasionally the entire shaft or some one of its faces
is enriched with bands of foliage. Probably for the sake of securing greater
height, a second capital was added at the top, either In plain cushion shape,
or carved into the semblance of two squat monsters supporting the architrave
on their head and upraised hands. For still loftier buildings It was the prac-
tice to set two columns of similar character one on the other, crowning the
uppermost with the detached capital as above described; and afterwards it
became the fashion to make even short columns with a notch in the middle, so
as to give them the appearance of being in two pieces. Examples of this
peculiarity may be seen in the Cbhatthi Palna at Malm-ban and the Dargah
at Noh-jhil. The custom, which prevailed to a very late period, of varying
the shape of a shaft by making It square at bottom, then an octagon, and then
polygonal, Is probably of different origin and was only a device for securing
an appearance of lightness.
From, about the year 1200 A.D. the architectural history of Mathura Is an
absolute blank till the middle of the 16th century, when, tinder the beneficent
sway of the Emperor Akbar, the eclectic style3 so characteristic of Ms own
religious views, produced the magnificent series of temples, which even In their
ruin are still to be admired at Brinda-ban.    The temple of Radha Ballabh, in that
town, built in the next reign, that of Jahangir, Is the last example of the style.
Its characteristic note can scarcely be defined as the fusion, but rather as the
parallel exhibition of the Hindu and Mnhammadan method.   Thus in a facade
one story, or one compartment, shows a succession of nraltifoil sarace-nic arches,
while above and below, or on either side, every opening Is square-headed with
the architrave supported on projecting brackets.   The one is purely Mnham-
madaiij the other'Is as distinctly Hindu; yet, without any attempt made to
disguise the fact "beyond the judicious avoidance of all exaggerated peculiarities
in either style, the juxta position of the two causes no sentiment of Incongruity.
If IE any art It -were possible to revive the dead, or If It were in human nature
ever to rotoxn absolutely upon the past, this style would seem to be the one for
our architects to copy.   But simple retrogression Is impossible.   Every period
has an environment of Its own, which, however studiously Ignored In artificial
imitations, must have Its effect in any spontaneous development of the artistic
faculty.   Tfee principle, however, is as applicable as ever, though it wiH deal with
altered materials and be manifested in novel phenomena.   Indian architecture, as